Ahhh . . . letting go. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But, chances are, you can’t do it.
When you run a business, your name is on the door. You are responsible. Things have to get done right, and that means you have to do everything—correct? Even if it means staying up all night four nights in a row. Even if it means missing every family function. Even if it means driving your spouse crazy because he never sees you and you feel guilty about the time you spend (or don’t) with the kids.
You can’t let go.
You know something’s not quite right with this. But you also know what I’m talking about, because you do it, don’t you? It’s hard to let go.
In the beginning of your business, this sounded exciting. Whatever it takes, right? I’m an entrepreneur! I’m running my own show, I get to decide!
And it WAS exciting, damn it. But after a few months—or a few years—you can wear yourself out. You can burn yourself out. And pretty soon, it doesn’t feel so exciting anymore. It feels difficult and draining, and you know something’s going to burst at the seams pretty soon, and you sure hope it’s not you.
Maybe you’ve tried delegating. Maybe to contractors, freelancers, or maybe to staff—maybe you have many amazing people you can hand things off to. But whether you work by yourself or have a whole slew of employees, it still comes back to the same thing—no one is in your brain.
No one is in your brain
No one can do what you do. No one will be able to satisfy your clients, and your own demanding self, the way you can, so you still end up doing monumental parts of projects yourself, and tying yourself in knots along the way. There’s no time for planning or working “on” the business because you’re constantly working “in” the business, and whether you’re scraping nickels together or whether you’re wildly successful, the problem just keeps getting worse. Uh huh.
You’re overwhelmed and overworked. You wish you could just let go, and that things would still miraculously get done in wondrous ways that clients love and [Read the full article.…]
In my experience, confidence is the most important attribute you can have in business. There is nothing more important than confidence, and I’m sure you have figured this out if you present to clients to win work. Clients watch you very carefully, and they view a lack of confidence as a lack of competence.
I’m going to say that again because it’s really important: Clients view a lack of confidence as a lack of competence.
Clients think you can’t do the job if you can’t stand in front of them and grab their attention with your passion, conviction, and firm belief in the work you do. Now I’m sure you’ve seen this to be true. You’ve been in situations where you’ve bid on a job against a slick account exec or someone who shows amazing confidence in their presentation style. And maybe you know that this person’s agency isn’t right for the project or their firm just can’t pull it off as well as you can. But just because this person shows a lot of presence and confidence and they wow the client, they get the work.
(And then later on you find out they got fired or they couldn’t give the client what they needed—you knew all along you were a better fit for this client. They were ‘faking it’ but ‘making it’ didn’t work out so well.) But you didn’t show the confidence that this person/agency did, and you can’t really blame the client for choosing them. The client couldn’t tell you were the right firm for the job, because you didn’t show them. And this happens all the time.
And maybe you’ve tried this ‘faking it till you make it’ thing, like I did. And it made you feel so fakey and icky and salesy and inauthentic and awful, and it went against every creative bone in your body, so you’re not going to do that anymore, ever.
So what can you do? [Read the full article.…]
This week, while on a coaching call with a client, he asked a question I’ve only been asked a handful of times before. But the answer to his question, I realized later, is the answer to so many questions about business.
And relationships. And just life in general.
Mark asked me, “What do you think is the one thing you’ve done that is responsible for your success?”
The first thing I thought of was George Clooney. (I like to think of George Clooney, but it’s not what you think.)
I recently saw an interview with a young actor. When asked a similar question about his career, the actor replied, “George Clooney gave me the best advice I’ve ever gotten. He said, ‘Don’t ever let me see you acting.’”
“Don’t ever let me see you acting.”
“Don’t ever let me see you selling.”
“Don’t ever let me see you pushing your [Read the full article.…]